The Importance of Coach K

Coach K is coming back this Saturday, and what he brings to the team is so important.

Coach K announced that he will be back on the Blue Devils sideline Saturday for their game against Pittsburgh. He’s been away from the team since he had his back surgery on January 6. Duke in that span has gone 4-3, which is not what a typical seven game stretch for the Blue Devils looks like. With Duke fans everywhere rejoicing at his return, we need to recognize the true value and importance of Coach K.

  1. Leadership– A coach has many functions that he is supposed to perform for his team, and probably the most important one of them all, especially at the college level, is leadership. Since the majority of the players on Duke’s roster seeing significant playing time are true freshmen, a lot of leadership is needed to get them to perform at their peak level. Upperclassmen such as Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard can provide leadership, but only to a certain extent. An army rallies behind their general, a medical staff behind their lead doctor, and any group of people behind their leader.
  2. Experience– Coach K has 1,386 reasons why he has a great amount of experience. He’s coached this many games between his short time at Army and his time now at Duke (sports-reference.com). Coaching this many games has brought a lot of different sights, successes, and failures for Coach K. This experience means that when something happens in a game, especially in crunch time, the chances are that Coach K has seen it, or something like it before. His wisdom during a game can help players tremendously as they are questioning what play to call, who should take the next shot, or what defense to run.
  3. Unity– Coach K has been the face of Duke basketball for many years. He is also one of the main reasons that Duke gets so many good players year after year. In other words, he’s built the program that Duke basketball now is. This brings a certain type of unity to a team, one that holds a team together. They all look to him for the next call or what to do as we’ve mentioned above, but what about when it’s about more than basketball? What if two teammates are arguing throughout a game or a player has personal issues affecting him? Coach K knows how to handle these situations, and the team can rally around him as a result. He takes the responsibility on his shoulders.

So as we can see, Duke needs Coach K. They’ve been starting to figure things out as a team, and now that their coach and the face of the program is coming back, this team is about to become dangerous. These star freshmen will continue to grow under Coach K’s leadership and guidance, and once they get into a groove, I see this team doing great things.

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